Proud as the Peacocks: Falguni & Shane experiment with AI & athleisure
In a recent body shaming controversy, Modern Family star Ariel Winter was seen referring to the one thing Falguni and Shane Peacock has stressed over and over—“Life is too short to blend in”. The teen actor was responding to a media furore over her attire—a golden mini dress which featured hefty cutouts with mesh panelling—designed by the duo for a promotional event.Known for their pronounced flair for original yet avant-garde outfits (think Rebel, a shimmery resort wear line presented at Lakme SR17) as well as a celebrity client list ranging from Katy Perry to Kylie Jenner, the couple has been dealing with a busy schedule this year. While they have been globetrotting across international fashion weeks—which included collaborating with Watson, IBM’s AI supercomputer, for a cognitive collection synthesized out of runway trends from across the international fashion weeks between 2006 to 2017—print fanatics in the country have been holding their breath for the duo’s next line. And it seems the wait has been worth the while as their eponymous label has announced On the Go, an athleisure collection combining the finest elements of their forte, prints and crease-free lycra. First of its kind, a trademark Peacock move, this breezy collection had us running towards the couturiers to know more their 2017 plans. As they gear up to bring their signature mojo back to Indian ramp, we catch up with the couple for an intimate chat/fashion police session.
Futuristic designers or fashion rebels?
We are creative designers and do what comes naturally to us. Yes, we agree that our sensibilities are futuristic however there is a whole new range coming in, which would be completely different from what we have done in the past. It’s all about the trends and how we feel creatively during the process of making a collection—hence each time a collection is launched, we are looked at differently.
On staying away from the Indian runway for the last six years
It wasn’t exactly a break that we took. There were too many things to be done and an international fashion week consumes a lot of your time. We have been travelling across the globe. Though we did plan to be here every year, the international commitments kept us away. This year has been exciting in India. We have launched our athleisure collection with Label Life, done an art installation for Belvedere and made a cognitive collection for IBM Watson.
Collaboration with IBM’s AI, Watson, was an ideal platform to show off all the elements of eclecticism that has been associated with your brand. Tell us about the experience.
Shane: Fashion is usually considered a right-brain activity. So it was very interesting to approach it from a left-brain perspective of logic and data. The data presented by IBM Watson helped us look at the insights as a springboard for our thoughts and helped us think in newer directions!
Falguni: The creative process was unbelievable.We were able to analyse the dominant prints and silhouettes for each season, which we could use as a starting point to explore further. An analysis and insights were shared with us based on all the fashion weeks internationally, as an interactive web application hosted on IBM Cloud where we could explore the colour trends for the next season, analyse the key prints and silhouettes for each season and derive inspiration for their new collection.
Trends: Tradition vs Modernity
India’s transformation in women’s clothing and fashion over the years hasn’t been as drastic as compared to its western counterparts, owing to various traditional beliefs and values still held by most Indian women.Whether it is the versatile saree, the humble salwar kameez, or the Indo-western fusion of wearing kurta with jeans, many Indian women have managed to adapt various trends in fashionable clothing without compromising on the beauty of all things Indian. However, one should know that fashion is ever-changing, and while some styles manage to become timeless classics, other trends only enjoy a brief hype before they die down.
In your latest athleisure intensive collection, On The Go, what ways have you employed to reinvent the trend?
This collection is totally athleisure, in summer-inspired prints and is curated for the quintessential women who are constantly “on-the-go”. These outfits channel a street chic vibe and can be worn from am to pm. This eight pieces’ fuss-free collection includes bomber jackets, jogger pants, bodysuits, bikinis, cover-ups, flats, brogues and totes we have never done any of these before so the entire collection is a lot of experimental elements we have added prints for the first time in athleisure. The trend will continue to influence women’s wardrobes in terms of colours, cuts and technical details this year. But, irrespective of the inspiration, comfort has always been and will remain the bottom line.The garments in the wardrobe of a woman have evolved to an extent that they can be bold and functional enough to be worn as party wear. As a result, we decided to explore options for the modern woman. And we know that this trend is here to stay.
Right now, we are gearing up for the Vogue bridal show. It will be a brand new collection for the entire bridal entourage.
The Watson Magic
Poised as India’s first ever Artificial Intelligence driven runway—held on May 26 at Grand Hyatt Mumbai as part of the India Cloud Forum 2017— the celebrity couple’s collaboration with IBM Watson resulted in a vibrant line of outfits that encompassed the essence of futuristic designs. Together, the team presented a cognitive collection synthesised out of runway trends as many as 6,00,000 picked out of fashion weeks around the world. Though the trend patterns in terms silhouettes, prints and colours were identified by Watson's visual recognition properties, the final designs were put together by Falguni and Shane themselves. Apart from the fashion weeks, Watson also generated a Bollywood databank via referring to film posters between the 70s and 2000s. The highlight here, however, is the time management which allowed the designers to wrap up the creative process/ideation behind the collection in just two days.“As fashion travels from one subculture to another, flowing through almost everything in a purposeful manner, chronicling it through this dynamic process is crucial. This so that we can preserve the past, resonate the present and predict the future,” shares the designers.
*Street chic styles that caught your eye in the recent times
Colour blocked fabrics with cool prints are all the rage in Indian wear this summer and one can totally get maxi dresses and ace the trend. Pair it with palazzos, trousers or even jeans. Colour blocked pieces add a fun vibrancy to your look!
Use a lot of scarves, but be sure to stay away from cumbersome dressing